The Scarlet Letter is considered to be Nathaniel Hawthorne's most famous novel and the first quintessentially American novel in style, theme and language.
This dark romance portrays the illicit love affair of Hester Prynne with the Reverend Arthur Dimmesdale and the birth of their child, Pearl. In Puritan New England, Hester, the mother of an illegitimate child, wears the scarlet A (for adulteress) for years rather than reveal that her lover was the saintly young village minister.
The Scarlet Letter represents the height of Hawthorne's literary genius; dense with terse descriptions. It remains relevant for its philosophical and psychological depth, and continues to be read as a classic tale on a universal theme.
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